The west is complicit in the 30-year cover-up of Tiananmen Jun 4, 2019 8:10:40 GMT
Post by cjm on Jun 4, 2019 8:10:40 GMT
The Communist party is a regime that used violence to supplant dialogue, directing its army and tanks against unarmed citizens to maintain its existence. Despite attempts to cover up, whitewash and misinterpret “June Fourth” over the past 30 years, from the moment the first bullet was fired that day the regime’s legitimacy was compromised. Nothing can change that.
Why do autocratic and totalitarian regimes, in fact most forms of power, fear facts? The only reason is because they have built their power on unjust foundations. Once facts are established, justice will be restored. And this is the greatest fear of powerful regimes. This is true not only of China, North Korea, or most non-democratic societies, but also some societies with democratic frameworks. When I consider the experience of whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning or Julian Assange, they remind me of my time living in a totalitarian society that suppresses and whitewashes fact, creates no-go zones and fears the light of public disclosure. Even if the lives of an entire generation are wiped out, no prisons and no amount of lies or censorship can expunge or conceal the facts. This is why memory – individual and collective – is such an important part of civilisation. To remove the memory of the past is to rob what is left of an individual, because our past is all we have. Without it, there is no such thing as a civilised society or nation. Any attempt to destroy, remove or distort memory is the act of an illegitimate power.
At the same time, the tolerance of injustice and distorted information is an act of encouragement and complicity. Such tolerance allows authoritarian regimes to transgress any red lines. This is exactly what happened after “June Fourth”, when the west bought into the excuse that Chinese society would become more democratic after it became richer. China has become wealthier and more powerful on the world stage, but it has never matured into pluralism or democracy. It continues to reject fundamental values of openness, social justice, fair competition and freedom. We will all pay the price for this failure.